Brave people solving global problems – the Right Livelihood Collection

Since 1980, the Right Livelihood Awards Foundation honours people upholding the principles of right livelihood, which means fully respecting other people and the natural world, “being responsible for the consequences of our actions and taking only a fair share of the earth’s resources.” This award has come to be known as “the alternative Nobel Prize”. There are now 182 laureates from 72 countries.

The head office of the foundation is located in Sweden, but the Geneva office is in the Maison de la Paix, right next to the Graduate Institute. Education is one of the core missions of the foundation, to disseminate the ideas of the laureates. That is the reason why the Geneva office has built a collection of books written by recipients of the award, or about them: it is hosted in the Graduate Institute library, accessible to everyone interested. The books can be borrowed according to the loan conditions applicable to the regular collection of the library.

This collection is situated in a dedicated part of our reading room. It currently holds more than 300 titles, covering a large range of subjects and perspectives: environment and sustainable development of course, with books of David Suzuki or Sheila Watt-Cloutier, but also peacebuilding (Johan Galtung), sustainable agriculture (Wes Jackson), global health (IBFAN, the International Baby Food Action Network), human rights (like Maude Barlow, who fights for the human right to water).

Some laureates are already world famous, like Edward Snowden. Others, like for instance the war surgeon and founder of the NGO Emergency Gino Strada or the Nigerian environmental activist Nnimmo Bassey, are worth discovering. Some of them received the Peace Nobel Prize after having received the Right Livelihood Award, including Denis Mukwege, the Congolese gynecologist treating women victim of sexual violence.

This collection contains books in several different languages, accessible to a wide audience in a cosmopolitan city. Our library is now open to everybody wishing to borrow books (workplaces are still reserved for the Graduate Institute community for the moment), but it is necessary to register on the Swisscovery platform. So, feel free to come, have a look, and take some books home. People living in other Swiss cities can also use the SLSP Courier service to have the books delivered to their library.

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